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1. Getting a haircut.

2. Waiting at the airport.

3. Going to work early.

4. Attending a wedding reception for people you don’t know.

5. Reading the Dictionary.

6. Baby sitting.

7. Doing any household chore with the ‘rents.

8. Catching a gourd.

9. Watching the Lawrence Welk show or Hee Haw.

10. Searching for geckos (actually, they’re prairie lizards…)

(We came up with quite a few things to put on this list–but we didn’t want to be mean. It wasn’t a bad movie. It just wasn’t a good movie. It was, however, the worst movie we’ve seen this summer. C did go see Wanted earlier and that was pretty bad– but it had some entertaining moments. Some. This one was just a waste of time and film. We can’t even muster up the energy or passion to list the things that were wrong with it…)

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Now, I’m really going to have to update my list. This summer, they keep coming out with GREAT super hero movies. And the Dark Knight is the best of the bunch.
C&C and our friend went to see it today.

Here are the reasons why it is my new favorite super hero movie. (Warning: Spoilers Alert.)

1. It had depth. Both C&C were impressed with the psychology of the many characters. While Batman Begins delved into the transformation of Bruce Wayne into Batman, Dark Knight asks the question, “What does this transformation mean? How far will it go?” Heady stuff to us–considering our vocations.

2. The story was quite good. Bad story=bad movie. Every time. Good story=good movie. Most of the time. We were surprised a couple of times but not in a cheating sort of way.

3. The characters were all interesting and the actors playing them did a great job of selling them.
I don’t think Heath Ledger deserves an Oscar, but his portrayal of the Joker is pure genius. Creepiest villain I’ve seen since Hannibal Lecter. Worse than Darth Vader, really.

4. Joker’s multiple-choice origin story. Just like the comic books, the Joker keeps giving a different origin for who he is and why. Nice touch.

5. They did deviate from the origin of Two-Face, but not enough to cause me a problem. I thought the update made sense. (I wish they would have gotten his hand, too. Wouldn’t have cost them much. Maybe they ran out of make-up budget.)

6. Speaking of Make Up… The Joker was different than anything I’ve ever seen– but believable for the first time in a long time. And Two-Face? OMG. C&C could only look at it on the screen by saying out loud, “That? That’s nothing. Our friend could do better.” I honestly don’t know if he could. It was an almost perfect rendition of the comic book face.

7. Batman did not reveal his identity to anyone. OMG! OMG! OMG! Praise be to the Comic Gods! They’ve made a masked super hero movie where the hero doesn’t take off his mask or reveal his identity to anyone. (There is the tool who discovers Batman’s identity– but that is accurate to the comic books and it makes sense and it was funny. Big Tool…) In fact, Batman actually takes measures to make sure no one will take off his cowl and discover his identity. Brilliant!

8. Speaking of secret identities… they corrected an error from the first movie.
Remember when Batman gave away his secret identity to that made-up, not-in-the-mythos love interest poorly played by that cult member? Well, she isn’t a problem anymore. Granted, this will justifiably upset some people— but it was the right thing to do. There are a few women who do know Bruce Wayne is Batman. This female figment was not one of them. (Kudos to the new actress, though. I thought she did a fantastic job with the character she was given. I’ve always liked her. I hear she wasn’t too keen on the hype this movie brought to her. Guess she doesn’t have to worry about that again.)

9. Oh, and speaking of problems from the first movie. I know, I know– I’m the only one only one of a couple of people in the whole world who hated that stupid modernized assault vehicle they sold us as the batmobile. Does it look like a batmobile? No. Know any other cars that can race across roof tops? No. Any viable reason why the batman’s seat has to slide down and forward to fire the weapons? No Maybe. (“It’s cool” is not a good enough answer. Sorry.) Anyway, that abominable ATV on steroids is no longer a problem either. Thank you Mr. Joker, sir. I haven’t been this grateful for your mayhem since you killed that annoying 2nd Robin.

10. The Bat Cycle Batpod on the other hand? Cool. It still doesn’t look like a bat gadget–but was frackin’ cool. And I was surprised when and how it arrived on the scene. Like a beautiful techno-phoenix rising from the ashes of an old turkey. Poetry, I tell you, pure poetry.

Best Super Hero Move Ever! C&C will be seeing it again. (Preferably not from the 3rd row this time. Gosh, that was close. Too close. I think Batman kicked me in the face during one of the fight scenes.)

Why yes, C&C did go and see Hellboy II. Thanks for asking.

What did we think? We both enjoyed the movie.
I enjoyed it because it is a very good, very comic-booky movie. I was never into Hellboy before the first movie (I’m almost ashamed to admit it), but I’ve very much enjoyed the character in the comic books, the cartoons, and the movies.

C enjoyed the movie because of the karaoke scene. (Hey, she knows what she likes.)

Another two thumbs up from us.

Spoiler –>C: So, what do you think the kid will look like.
C: Red.
C: Good Guess.

Last Friday night, C&C went with a friend and another friend to see Kung Fu Panda.
(Everyone else was there to see a different movie.)

First– if you go see Kung Fu Panda, be prepared for a younger demographic in the seats surrounding you.

If you are actually able to hear and watch the movie, we think you will probably enjoy it.

The animation is sharp with a rich color palette. The characters are enjoyable and well voiced. It is an excellent homage to the Saturday morning Kung Fu theater I used to watch when I was kid. They even did the “stop motion” I remember from those old fights.
Jack Black wasn’t nearly as annoying as we thought he might be.

And, it was kinda cool to see a fat character as the hero for a change.
(No reason, why do you ask?) OK, I admit, there have been a few heroes like that.

Four thumbs up from us.

So, I went to see Wanted the other week.
C was not interested in the movie, so I was forced to scare up some fellow geeks to go with.
(C is not interested in assassins, secret societies, or Angelina Jolie’s tattooed backside, so her reluctance to see the movie is understandable.)

Since I am: fascinated by assassins, obsessed with comic book movies, and not at all opposed to Ms. Jolie’s inked backside, I felt obligated to go.

First, the movie deviated from the comic book. Not a little. Not somewhat. Almost completely. Boo.

Second, the story (the new story) wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t great.

Third, they didn’t justify or explain their mythos in a way that I could buy into. (I’m a comic book geek, folks– I’ll buy almost any story if you make it somewhat consistent or coherent.) Curving bullets I can buy. Curving bullets because you snap your wrist as you fire the gun (as if this will put a spin on the bullet) is ridiculous. BOO!

Fourth, the Loom of Fate was … I don’t know. I’m torn. Could be OK. Seemed lame.

Fifth, the rat plan— again, could have been OK. Seemed ultra lame in its execution.

All in all– a waste of my time.
I should have stayed home with C.

C&C went with a friend to a double feature today.

First, to The Incredible Hulk. (C’s second time seeing it.)
C was a little skeptical but a good sport. They both thought it was very good.

Upon second viewing, it still holds up–though there are few holes that are noticeable.
1. What time of day is it exactly in the first chase scene?
2. Where, exactly, did she carry her purse? (Maybe he carried it?)
3. How did they not notice her renting that room?

Then we went to Hancock.
Excellent! Not the greatest film we’ve ever seen, but definitely a winner in the Superhero genre.
* Will Smith was excellent in the role. Very good acting.
* The idea was well done and creative.
(One reviewer ripped it for being “not superheroey” Well, that’s the point really. Let’s not fault hollywood for getting creative, OK? Don’t want to discourage that. And he is quite the superhero at the end.)
* Like the mythos they alluded to.

C actually figured out the plot twist. (C was, oddly, gobsmacked by it.) She’s smart– what can I say.

We’ll be adding it to our DVD collection.

Today, I finally got a chance to see The Incredible Hulk.
(I went with Occam’s Rev.)


I had a great time. We both enjoyed the movie.
I believe, and I’ve been thinking about this all day, that it is my new favorite super hero movie.
I’ve been trying to think of one that was better. I’ve looked at my list. I think there are plenty on that list that are equal to it– but none I’d place higher on the list.

So, here’s my take on it.
Why: Sticks to the mythos. (It does replace the comic book origin with the TV-show origin, but it does it with such grace and style that I didn’t mind. Plus, I admit, I was a big fan of the TV show.) The story was good. The acting (with one minor exception) was very good (especially Ed Norton.) It only had one major villain and it was good one. The CGI was acceptable and actually quite good in some scenes. It was also chock full of Easter Eggs for the fans/geeks. It answers a question I’ve had for over two decades. (That, alone, makes it worthwhile.)
Why Not: It does make use of the POV, shaky cam a little too much. There are some small reality snags. (From Occam’s Rev, “How did she still have her purse? Why didn’t they get her when she paid for the hotel room?” Hmm. Good questions. Not hugely important, but O.R. is a very detail oriented person.)

Spoiler Alert
Below, I shall post the Easter Eggs and Geek Gifts. (The ones I remember anyway.)

1. Homage to Bill Bixby, David Banner in the TV series. Bruce Banner watches The Courtship of Eddie’s Father at one point.

2. Lou Ferrigno, the Hulk in the tv series, as the security guard at the lab.

3. Stan Lee cameo (he has one in every major Marvel movie) as the old man in Wisconsin.

4. The many homage moments to the TV series. (“You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry.” The theme music sprinkled throughout the soundtrack. Even the shot of him hitchhiking in the rain.)

5. The other characters or groups that show up. (Tony Stark, S.H.I.E.L.D., The Leader –though to be honest, I thought he was Doc Samson at first, I completely missed him when he did show up–, McGee, Doc Samson, and of course, The Abomination.)

6. The purple shorts.

7. The secret of the non-ripping shorts. (see above)

C&C went to see our second movie of the summer last night.

Our reaction? Meh.

Seriously. As in, “Wow, that was extremely underwhelming bordering on lame.”

Think of it as a cross between Tomb Raider (the game), The Princess Bride (without any of the humor), and the X-Files Movie.

In case we have not made ourselves perfectly clear, we are not recommending this movie.
Find something else more fun to do with your time and money.

P.S. C says, “Harrison Ford is a little too long in the tooth.”

Someone or some group of someones out there has it in for me.

I offer as proof: Iron Man

C&C went to see it on opening night.
Great movie.
Very funny.
Great special effects.
Good Story.
Robert Downy Jr. is perfect as Tony Stark.
One of the best super hero movies ever made!

BUT…

(spoiler alert)

He gives away his secret identity.
To everyone.
(Something he doesn’t do until quite late in the comic book story arc.)

Why does he do this?
No reason I can think of– except someone out there hates me and wants to give me a brain aneurism.

What? You thought I was talking about something else? Don’t know what that could be…

Also this weekend,
C & C went to see a movie. 3:10 to Yuma.
It is a new western staring Christian Bale and Russel Crow with many other recognizable stars. It is getting good reviews.
But that isn’t why we went to see it.

We went to see it because one of our best friends recieved his first screen credit in that film.* I can’t say much more than that, out of respect for his privacy and professional standing. In addition, he was asked to lend a hand in other ways to the film. (He actually had a bit part on-screen. A real small bit part.)

C & C now know a person in the movie industry.
When his name came up in the credits, we jumped up and down dancing and yelling. (We have been told that his reaction was much more restrained. Of course it was. He doesn’t celebrate like that. That’s why he has friends like us for.)

Anyway, the movie was great.
His work on it was fantastic.
His bit part was so good we almost missed it. (Ok, we did miss it. But we won’t next time we see the film.)
Aside from his work in the film, we think it was a good movie.

It made us think afterwards, which westerns don’t normally do.

Way to go, secret friend!

* They messed up his name. Priceless. Absolutely, priceless.